- Posted June 30, 2014 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Kernels - Monday, June 30, 2014
Welcome to the latest edition of Kernels From the Cornfield - No Husks, No Hulls, No Shucks!
News with a dash of commentary to spice up your fare for Monday, June 30th, 2014.
1. Religious Liberty Upheld - In a 5-4 decision released this morning, the US Supreme Court ruled that closely held companies such as Hobby Lobby could not be forced to provide contraceptive coverage which would violate its owners' religious belief against abortion.
See and read my reaction which was vetted for use by CNN: Splitting Hairs Gets Right Decision.
2. Blow to Public Unions - In a separate 5-4 ruling released today, the Supreme Court ruled that home healthcare workers in Illinois were not government employees and could not be forced to pay dues to a public union representing government employees.
While narrow in its scope, the decision nonetheless was a blow to advocates of public unions. If you recall, limits placed on public unions by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker was at the crux of a failed recall attempt a couple of years ago.
The order hampers union efforts to expand reach when membership is declining and lessening influence in the political arena. The ruling did not, however, overturn a 37-year-old decision allowing unions to collect fees from non-union employees at a union business.
3. Terror Strikes Israel - Three Israeli teens kidnapped a couple of weeks ago were found dead in a field today. The teens had been snatched by the terrorist Hamas in the West Bank on their way home from school.
As regional unrest amid fights between Sunnis and Shiites continues to expand, Israeli response and taking action of retribution against Hamas will only further ignite the real possibly more and more of the world may be drawn into a conflict which bears striking similarities to the Balkans in 1914 which led to World War I.
4. The Caliphate - Seeking to cement its goal, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria announced the creation of a caliphate comprised of territory controlled by the terrorist group in Syria and Iraq. The Islamic caliphate state was last seen a hundred years ago and ended with World War I.
It is clear that ISIS and its Sunni allies are not about to agree to a federation or unity government with the current Shiite majority in Baghdad.
5. No Troops on the Ground? - Seems like mission creep may be starting. An additional 300 troops are moving into Iraq. That will bring the total of US ground forces in Iraq to about 800.
What about those strange bedfellows?
Russia delivered figther jets to the Iraqi government today to fight against ISIS. This now has the US jostling for the bed clothes with Russia and Iran. While many Shiites and others think the US should butt out and blame the US for the current mess for butting into the internal affairs of Iraq to begin with.
6. New Chief at VA - Former Proctor & Gamble CEO and Army veteran, Bob McDonald, a West Point graduate, was tapped by President Barack Obama today to clean-up the mess of the Veterans Affairs medical system and to restore trust in America's commitment to veterans.
McDonald, with 30 years in the business field, hailing from the Cincinnati, Ohio area, will have his hands full if confirmed by the US Senate to be the new VA Secretary. A big priority will be clearing out the deadwood of bureaucracy which has caused the national disgrace.
7. Tragedy or Homicide? - Reports on court documents revealed over the weekend that the parents of a toddler, who was left in a closed, hot vehicle while his father was at work and died, had searched the internet on information on children dying in hot vehicles.
One CNN iReporter has little sympathy for the parents and cannot see how any parent could "accidentally" leave a child in a hot car. However, most of those who commented on his iReport seemed to give the father the benefit of the doubt and say accidents happen.
No matter where one stands on this tragedy, the brutal reality is a child is dead - accidentally or intentionally.
Time, an investigation and a trial will determine whether this was an accident, but still negligence on the part of the parent, or a premeditated murder. The father is currently charged with murder in the case.
8. Executive Action - The President today announced he is tired of waiting and giving House Speaker John Boehner time to bring a vote on immigration reform. The President is initiating executive action to deal with the crisis at the border with the deluge of children from Central America. He is asking for an additional $500 million from Congress. He is also ordering Homeland Security to refocus its resources from the heartland and to the border.
The full extent of what the President plans to do remains to be seen. He is also asking for studies and recommendations on turning off the spigot that is allowing the flow of illegal immigrants to the US border.
Immigration was a main reason for the defeat of former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in the recent Virginia Republican primary.
9. Cornfield Equality - The US Circuit Court of Appeals for the 7th District late Friday afternoon granted an emergency stay at the request of Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller putting a hold on equality in the Cornfield until the appeals process runs its course.
You can learn more reading: Equality 'On Hold' in the Cornfield.
Check out my position on the issue: Equality - Where I Stand.
10. Gambling Motors - Well, maybe that should be consumers taking a gamble in light of the flood of issues and concerns with GM vehicles as another 8.4 million are recalled worldwide.
How can the company ever hope to gain back any of the US of A's once renown as a maker of excellence in automotives at this rate?
How long will consumers continue to gamble with their lives buying GM cars and trucks?
That's what caught my attention for Monday, June 30th, 2014.
Tune in tomorrow for another episode of Kernels From the Cornfield.
I am Mark Ivy.